View Full Version : Fighting Disease with your idle PC

03-31-07, 11:01 PM
Not sure if everyone is aware of this but Stanford University has a project called Folding@Home:, which uses the power of millions of computers all over the world to process this open source work on protein causes of diseases such as Cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, Mad Cow and many others. Unlike many chances to contribute this costs no time, nor money.

All they ask is some spare cycles of your idle CPU on your computer and a few Kilobytes of hard disk space.

That list of diseases probably has had a direct impact on you through family or friends, it did for me and was more than enough incentive for me to join the project to help solve these problems.

It's an amazing project where every single person joins with others to create an enormously huge impact.

With supercomputers, these projects could take decades. Using distributed computing, by installing a application, they have converted these decades into months and with more powerful CPUs coming, they hope to reduce this to weeks.

Proteins are biology's workhorses -- its "nanomachines."
Before proteins can carry out these important functions, they assemble themselves, or "fold."
The process of protein folding, while critical and fundamental to virtually all of biology, in many ways remains a mystery. Folding@Home uses sophisticated models to fold proteins to determine when and how proteins do not fold correctly, resulting in disease.

The project has already resulted in many breakthroughs:

How does it work?

Like this: I have a 5MB frame (or chunk) of a work unit running on my computer right now. It will take about 24 minutes for that frame to be processed. The work unit it comes from has an estimated completion time of 104+ days. The more computers running frames of this work unit the fewer days it takes to complete the process.

More simply stated: just download the software and install it. Your life might be saved by the research they are doing.

04-07-08, 12:37 AM
very cool post

04-07-08, 05:34 PM
We did have something like that here in the forum.... not sure anymore though since my computer crashed last year. Search the forums or ask a mod or admin.

04-08-08, 04:00 PM
I found the original one for here in the forum. It is no longer in existence. So thank you very much for giving us another opportunity to help fight cancer and other diseases.

Jed Thorton
10-01-08, 03:47 AM

10-01-08, 08:22 AM
I run Folding @ Home on my PS3.